November 6, 2007
Metropolitan State University of Denver
FAA awards air traffic controller program at Metro State
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has awarded Metropolitan State College of Denver the highly coveted Air Traffic Controller Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) designation for its Aviation and Aerospace Science Department. Only select institutions are awarded such status. Metro State is one of eight colleges and universities chosen out of 19 colleges that had qualified for the program. The FAA announced Metro State's selection on Oct. 16.
"This AT-CTI designation underscores our role as an urban land grant college," says Metro State President Stephen Jordan. "At Metro State, we empower our students to achieve success through a blend of theory and applied learning that is relevant, high quality and diverse."
The FAA works with colleges and universities all over the country as part of the AT-CTI, which designates an institution as an FAA partner. The FAA gives preferential hiring to students who successfully complete the degree program.
"This designation will catapult our Metro State graduates into the field quickly. Our students will be eligible to bypass the first five weeks of initial qualification training at the FAA Academy because of their college education," says Jeff Forrest, associate professor and chair of the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science. "Between our required professional certification and coursework, we have one of the more rigorous academic programs in the country."
The FAA estimates that over the next 10 years, it will need more than 17,000 air traffic controllers (ATC) to replace those who are retiring. As mandatory retirement is part of the profession, many of the ATCs hired in the early 1980s are coming up on retirement.
The AT-CTI designation positions Metro State to help fill this void, according to adjunct professor Andy Farr who teaches Fundamentals of Air Traffic Control in the Department of Aviation and Aerospace Science. "With this designation, Metro State students will have a direct career path. Regionally, Metro State is the only facility that can do this."
Metro State's Aviation and Aerospace Science program is the fifth largest in the country and offers the only four-year degree in the state. For information about the program at Metro State, visit http://www.mscd.edu/~aviation/ or call 303- 556-2983.